Advertisement
Buying & Leasing a Car

How to Get Money Back When You Turn in a Leased Vehicle

If you are well under your allotted mileage limit, you may be rewarded.

Question: I'm about to turn in my leased Mazda. The lease specified a limit of 10,000 miles a year for three years, but I've driven the car only 16,000 miles. Does the lower mileage give me any negotiating leverage if I want to lease another Mazda?

Answer: It might. "Because of the low miles, there's a good chance there is equity in the lease, meaning the lessee could walk away with money in his pocket," says Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor for Edmunds.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Call your leasing company to find out the payoff amount (or the "residual value"), then get an estimate of the vehicle's current value at a site such as Edmunds or Kelley Blue Book. If it looks as if your car is worth more than the payoff amount, Montoya recommends getting the car appraised by a third party, such as Carmax or another dealership. "The appraisal will let you know how much the car is worth and what you stand to make after the lease is fully paid for," he says.

Montoya says you could accept that price, sell the car and get a check for the difference between the sales price and the lease's payoff amount. Or, if you want another Mazda, take the appraisal to the dealer and see if it will match the offer, then use the extra money as a down payment on the new car.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

For more information about your options if your car is worth more than the purchase price written into the lease, see Cash Out Your Lease on Your Car.

Advertisement

Most Popular

HSAs Get Even Better
Financial Planning

HSAs Get Even Better

Workers have more options with flexible spending accounts, too.
July 2, 2020
Find a Great Place to Retire
happy retirement

Find a Great Place to Retire

Our cities provide plenty of space to spread out without skimping on health care or other amenities.
July 2, 2020
What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?
tax brackets

What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020 vs. 2019?

The IRS unveiled the 2020 tax brackets, and it's never too early to start planning to minimize your future tax bill.
June 20, 2020

Recommended

Sales Tax Holidays in 2020
state tax

Sales Tax Holidays in 2020

Sixteen states are having sales tax holidays this year. If you plan your shopping around these tax-free periods, you can save big on back-to-school cl…
July 1, 2020
13 Luxury Goods That Are Cheaper at Costco
spending

13 Luxury Goods That Are Cheaper at Costco

You could be missing out on huge savings: Costco sells a limited selection of luxury goods at discounted prices, both in-store and online.
June 27, 2020
COVID-19: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Change Our Spending Habits
spending

COVID-19: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Change Our Spending Habits

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, including how we spend money. Are you spending less right now? Many people are. Here’s how to make th…
June 17, 2020
24 Best Travel Websites to Save You Money
spending

24 Best Travel Websites to Save You Money

Traveling is fun and you can do it without breaking the bank — you just have to know where to go online first.
June 12, 2020